"I have to take responsibility for the fact that I worked with them both. I can’t turn back the clock."

Morgan Noll
September 11, 2020
Advertisement
Rich Fury, Getty Images

In recent years, the #MeToo Movement has exposed the abuse of power that runs rampant in Hollywood, dethroning predatory movie moguls and calling for systemic change in the industry. Now, Kate Winslet is turning the lens on herself, taking responsibility for the role she plays as an actor and acknowledging the ways she's been complicit in the past. In a recent interview with Vanity Fair about her role in the new film Ammonite, Winslet said that she regrets working with directors Woody Allen and Roman Polanski.

"It’s like, what the fuck was I doing working with Woody Allen and Roman Polanski?" Winslet said.

"It’s unbelievable to me now how those men were held in such high regard, so widely in the film industry and for as long as they were," she said. "It’s fucking disgraceful."

Winslet worked with Allen—who married one of his adopted daughters and was accused of molesting his daughter, Dylan Farrow—on his 2017 film Wonder Wheel. She also worked with Polanski—who was first arrested and charged with rape in 1977—on his 2011 film Carnage. Now, Winslet says, "I have to take responsibility for the fact that I worked with them both. I can’t turn back the clock."

She continued: "I’m grappling with those regrets but what do we have if we aren’t able to just be fucking truthful about all of it?"

Winslet acknowledged the privilege she's had along the years to continue working while ignoring the abuse happening around her. "I feel so fortunate to have been in a position for a good many years where I could hold my own, keep my head down, and try and produce decent work," she said. But she doesn't want to continue working that way. "It’s easy to lose one’s voice along the way and to lose sight of the responsibility that comes with that. And I don’t want to fuck that up. I know that I can always do better."

Winslet's personal reckonings were inspired by her work in Ammonite, a love story that follows her character's relationship with a young married woman, played by Saoirse Ronan. The actress said that the way Ammonite portrays the same-sex relationship between the two female characters on-screen—like, "it just is, pure and simple"—pushed her to think about the ways she's contributed to one-dimensional stereotypes of women and sexuality in past roles.

"[Ammonite] made me question whether, in the past, I was just complacent and just rolled with tradition in that sort of automatic way that we all sometimes do," she said.

"When a woman takes the lead in a movie, it’s always written that she is feisty or taking control…. Why can’t she just be turned on? Why can’t she just know what she wants?"

So, Winslet says she wants to do better moving forward, not just for herself, but for all the young women actors and all those watching from the audience.

"Ammonite has made me really aware of being even more committed to honoring what women want to be saying for themselves in films and how we really want to be portrayed, regardless of sexual orientation," she said. "Because life is fucking short and I’d like to do my best when it comes to setting a decent example to younger women. We’re handing them a pretty fucked up world, so I’d like to do my bit in having some proper integrity."